Thursday, August 28, 2014

She still strikes fear - even in PerĂº!

Sister Henderson, aka Paula, has always been known for her firmness and resolve.
And that's a nice diplomatic way of saying that sometimes she can be kind of scary.  When she was President of the Primary, the children's organization at church, discipline was never tighter.
When queried as to whether Mom meant it when she mentioned the consequence for a contemplated action, or lack of same, our kids acknowledged that, yes, she was going to carry out her threats.
The Church has designed and implemented a program by which native Spanish-speaking missionaries are to learn basic English during their 18 or 24 months.  I put Sister Henderson in charge of it, knowing that by so doing, I could sit back and forget about it.
She has decreed that the program is not optional; everyone must take the test at the end of their tenure, by which they can gain certification that may be useful for future employment.  She reviews their progress at the time of the every-three-month personal interviews with me.
Every single Latin missionary has agreed that they are WAY more afraid of the interview with Sister Henderson than with me.
We hope that your adventures in foreign-language study aren't as stressful.  And that you don't do anything to upset Sister Henderson!
Dave & Paula

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Peru = frequent work-arounds

Back home, serious road work is scheduled and designed to minimize disruption, i.e., at night, at times of less traffic, etc.
Here?  Not so much.  A major road will be taped off for weeks, despite no apparent workmen or progress, without so much as a detour sign.  
A parade?  A dance?  Of course they win!  The biggest north-south street, that ran in front of our apartment building, was blocked for three days for a celebration.  Of something.  Complete with saxophone music.
So, when our internet access blinked out on Saturday morning, we first figured that it was one of those frequent blink-outs, and we were patient.
However, by that afternoon, nothing.  By Sunday morning, nothing.  By Sunday night, when it was needed for real-live Mission work, nothing.
By a work-around (see below), I left a message for Monday morning to the Operations & Management guys.  One of them saw it anyway, and called Movistar, the local internet provider.
"Oh, they're just working on something in the system, and it should be fixed in a day or two."
Oh, well.....WHAT?!!  With no notice the biggest Internet Serviced Provider in town just shuts it off for a couple of days?!  Not even a detour sign?
Luckily, our phones can be used as wi-fi "hotspots" that give us internet access, though slow.
Our Voice Over Internet Protocol Phone to the US needs the internet (read the name again),
so...The call from Mike came in on the internet through Paula's phone,
then was wi-fi'd to her computer, 
which went through the VOIP hardware,
then was wi-fi'd back to her telephone, where it had come from originally,
and she could talk to Mike.  In Utah.  On his cellphone.
I think I need some Tylenol.  Or parecetamol, which is the local work-around.
We hope things are being a little more straight-forward where you are.
Dave & Paula